A 67 from Ben Curtis at PGA Championship nothing compared to mocking he endures for wearing Detroit Lions gear
BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. - The Detroit Lions are the most poorly-run franchise in the history of sports (and as someone who grew up in Michigan, I can say that.) This is a team where you find yourself pining for the old “glory days” of the Wayne Fontes era.
Yet, there is Ben Curtis - a guy who grew up in Columbus, Ohio - all decked out in Lions garb as he shoots a 3-under 67, the lowest round of the PGA Championship so far, today. Again, these are the Lions. Not the Dallas Cowboys with their horde of pathetic bandwagon backers who have no connection to Dallas whatsoever. You have to be from Michigan to root for the Lions. And then you still have to be a little crazy.
But there’s Curtis in his Lions’ hat and Lions polo shirt. Seeing this getup on the practice range almost makes you think, hey all those Nike robots might not be so bad after all. It brings up horrible visions of WorldGolf.com fashion king Brandon Tucker’s seemingly serious plea for allowing jean shorts on golf courses.
Curtis is getting paid to do this of course (hopefully very well). The 2003 British Open champ has an endorsement contract with Reebok that mandates that he wear the clothing of whichever local NFL team whose market he is playing in. Turns out Reebok may want to rethink that deal when it comes to the Lions.
For Curtis is receiving much more heckling than hearty back slaps from the metro Detroiters in Oakland Hills’ gallery. “I’ve heard a lot of comments along the lines of ‘He’s wearing a Lions jersey so you know there’s no way he can win,’ ” Curtis admitted.
Don’t think Curtis isn’t suddenly thinking about a Lions curse too. He’s an athlete and athletes are among the most superstitious people on the planet. With the Lions, it’s not exactly some wild unproven theory either. You wear their gear, you suck is more time tested than gravity.
“Hopefully that doesn’t come into play,” Curtis said, not close to smiling at the thought.
Later when a TV reporter asked Curtis if he took any inspiration from the Lions, the golfer took a long pause.
“From the … Lions?” he asked back. “Are you serious?”
The TV guy nodded his head yes. Curtis started talking about something else.
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